Case Study: Shell’s waste-to-value approach offers sustainable solutions to Mahindra & Mahindra dealerships across India
The initiative is one of the many ways that the company is working to reduce the industry’s footprint on the environment.
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) is one of India’s leading automotive companies and is among the largest vehicle manufacturers by production. With a goal of reducing its environmental footprint across operations, M&M partnered with Shell Lubricants for its Used Oil Management Proposition in September 2022. Through its network of oil re-refiners, Shell collects used oil from Mahindra’s dealerships in an environmentally sustainable manner, which it then re-refines, thus supporting the goal of circular economy.
Shell’s used oil collection service aims to address a larger problem faced across the industry – the prevailing lack of proper oil recycling facilities and opaque pricing for various grades of used oil. Of the 1.2 million tons of used oil generated in India annually, only 13% is re-refined, according to the 2022 Kline report on Global Used Oil and Re-refined Lubricants (base years: 2020 and 2021). In addition, businesses also find it difficult to track and document oil disposal due to an unorganised distributed ecosystem, risking pilferage and incorrect oil storage and segregation protocol.
Consequently, most used oil is either burnt as industrial fuel without processing (leading to harmful greenhouse gas emissions) or discarded in landfills, where it eventually contaminates local water bodies. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, used oil from one oil change can contaminate over three million litres of fresh water. On the other hand, re-refining used oil helps conserve natural resources and reduces emissions related to lubricants end-of-life, helping India meet its carbon-neutral targets.
Veejay Nakra, President Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra
Veejay Nakra, President Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra said, “Our partnership with Shell addresses the urgent need for proper oil recycling. It will also play a vital role in preserving natural resources and reducing emissions associated with lubricants.” The programme covers all of Mahindra’s dealerships in India’s North, East and West regions and has helped avoid 270 tons of CO2 emissions by transitioning used oil towards re-refining.
Shell’s Used Oil Management Proposition ensures correct used oil storage and oil disposal to vendors who follow safety practices, following which it is re-refined to extract base oil, a crucial ingredient in lubricants. The process thus contributes to creating a circular economy and reduces industrial carbon footprint. It also enables Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to fulfil their Used Oil Extended Producer Responsibility (ERP), which holds them responsible for collecting and re-refining 60-75% of used oil generated at their franchised workshops.
Debanjali Sengupta, Country Head, Shell Lubricants India
“Shell’s in-depth experience across the value chain has enabled us to embed circular economy in lubricants and reduce emissions. In partnership with Mahindra, we are implementing our Shell Used Oil Management Proposition on a greater scale. This partnership-centric approach will be crucial to support Shell and Mahindra’s vision for a net-zero future and demonstrates that commercial and environmental benefits can go hand in hand,” Debanjali Sengupta, Country Head, Shell Lubricants India said.
Business customers also benefit from the programme’s transparent pricing policy, which gives them higher value for their used oil output. The initiative is one of the many ways that Shell is working to reduce the industry’s footprint on the environment while empowering industries to implement sustainable and intelligent choices across their value chains.
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